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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Salt reduction targets

The Food Standards Agency has published revised salt reduction targets for 2012 including 80 categories of food. It has been suggested that additional salt reductions could save 20,000 lives a year.

Since 2000-2001, average salt intake has dropped by 0.9g per day to 8.6g but this is still some way above the 6g recommended level. It is proposed that this reduction is already saving 6,000 lives a year through blood pressure reductions.

About 75% of daily salt we consume is already added to the food we buy during manufacturing. The new targets focus upon foods that make the greatest contribution to daily intake such as bread, meat products and cereals, as well as convenience foods such as pizza, ready meals and savoury snacks.

Action: Clinicians should encourage patients to reduce their salt intake and particularly advise patients about foods with a high salt content.

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